Monday, November 30, 2015

Superfood Salad; Meatless Monday



The past few weeks have been filled with festivities and feasting what with the Indian festival of Diwali and the American Thanksgiving. We have been overindulging ourselves. There are more holidays to come with Christmas and New Year around the corner!! Holidays mean lots of celebrations and parties which means lots of food!! We all know that the tables are laden with rich food making us consume almost or more than the entire day's worth of calories in one meal!! NO, I am not being the grinch!! Indulgence in rich food once in a while is absolutely fine. There is nothing wrong in it. The point I am trying to make is that we need to balance these rich meals with healthy, low calorie meals. That is not hard at all. With a little planning it can be easily achieved, like this Superfood Salad that is super easy to plan and make, won't break the bank and is filled with all good nutrients from a variety of fruits and vegetables! Try this and let me know your thoughts. It is versatile enough that you can add ingredients of your choice, healthy of course!  I love to have this for dinner and leftover for the next-day lunch!


Psst.. I make extra so that I can take it to lunch the next day!



Servings: 4-6 ( 2 cups per person)


Ingredients:


Baby greens : 3 cups ( a mix of baby spinach, kale and arugula)
Cucumber: 1 medium-sized, deseeded & chopped.
Tomato: 1 medium-sized, chopped.
Avocado: 1 medium, peeled, pitted and diced.
Orange/ tangerine: 1 medium, peeled, deseeded and cut into segments.
Kiwi: 1 medium
Green apple: 1 medium, peeled, cored and diced.
Onion: 1 medium sized, sliced
Shredded carrot: 1/4 cup
Olives: 8, sliced
Pomegranate seeds: 2 tbsp
Feta cheese: 2-3 tbsp

For the vinaigrette ( dressing):

Lemon juice: 4 tbsp
Vinegar: 2 tbsp
Olive oil: 6 tbsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp ( can be adjusted as per individual taste)
Black pepper: 1/2 tsp

Method:


In a small jar add all the ingredients listed under " for the vinaigrette" and shake well. Keep aside.

Take a bowl. Add to it the chopped cucumber, sliced onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped apple, shredded carrots, half of the sliced olives, half of the feta cheese and half of the pomegranate seeds. Reserve the rest for garnishing.  Add the vinaigrette as much as needed and mix well.

To serve:


In a plate/ salad bowl, layer the greens until the entire bottom of the plate/bowl is covered. Now add a cup of the above salad. Top it with orange/tangerine segments, chopped avocado, kiwi slices and more of the feta cheese, pomegranate seeds and olives if you wish.



Serve chilled.

I am linking this post to Throwback Thursday, Angie's FiestaFriday and Saucy Saturdays.The co-hosts for Fiesta Friday are Johanne@French Gardener Dishes and Liz@spades, spatulas & spoons.

Cooking made easy:


The salad above may look and sound very fancy but it really isn't. Most of the ingredients used above are optional. By that what I mean is that you could put any ingredients that you have available in your kitchen. If you add more or less it doesn't make a gigantic difference.

If you feel that layering while serving is too much of a bother, just mix all the ingredients except the greens.

Alternatively, you can mix everything and serve the vinaigrette on the side. If you mix the leaves with the vinaigrette, the salad becomes soggy. I do this when I take leftover salad for lunch the next day! I love it.



I also make a big batch of the vinaigrette and keep it handy for future use.

Tip for healthy living:


We often hear the term " superfood"!! What are considered superfoods?? What exactly is a superfood??
By definition, superfood is food that is considered to be very good for your health and which may even help some medical conditions.  It is also defined as a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. Some of the common food items that are considered super-food are berries, nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, citrus fruits, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines. Colorful vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes; many legumes and whole grains are also considered as superfoods. Basically, from the above paragraph, we can clearly see that these are the food items that traditionally our ancestors have always been eating , but from which we have moved away and are now eating more of the processed food. Anything fresh that is not processed and has colors is nutrient-dense and therefore makes it a "superfood"!

The term " superfood" is nothing but a marketing gimmick trying to get the attention of consumers and trying to redirect them towards healthy eating habits. My thing is that " whatever it takes to make people eat more healthy!" 


References:

Food for thought:


The only way to enjoy anything is to earn it first. Ginger Rogers